Red Nichols

Biography

Born: May 8, 1905; Ogden, UT   Died: June 28, 1965; Las Vegas, NV  
Overrated in Europe in the early '30s when his records (but not those of his black contemporaries) were widely available and then later underrated and often unfairly called a Bix Beiderbecke imitator, Red Nichols was actually one of the finest cornetists to emerge from the 1920s. An expert improviser whose emotional depth did not reach as deep as Bix or Louis Armstrong, Nichols was in many ways a hustler, participating in as many recording Read more sessions (often under pseudonyms) as any other horn player of the era. After moving to New York in 1923, his own sessions utilized unusual intervals and whole tone scales along with hot ensembles. Although still using the main name of the Five Pennies, Nichols' bands were often quite a bit larger and by 1929, he was alternating sessions featuring bigger commercial orchestras with small combos. He headed a so-so swing band in the late '30s and left music for several years. He returned in 1944 with a re-formed Five Pennies as a Dixieland sextet, one of the finer traditional jazz bands of the next 20 years. In 1959, a highly enjoyable if rather fictional Hollywood movie called The Five Pennies (and featuring Nichols' cornet solos) made him into a national celebrity at the twilight of his long career. Read less

There are 2 Red Nichols recordings available.

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